It’s the bookshop with no books in stock! But with millions available.
Imagine… The Espresso Book Machine will deliver you the book of your choice in the same time it takes for you to enjoy a coffee.
Presse Universitaires de France (PUF) was completely restructured in 1999 and this resulted in the closure of its famous bookshop on the Place de La Sorbonne. Now it has made a comeback. This time there are no rows of books to browse, no storerooms filled with boxes, and no ‘out of stock’ items. Instead, there’s a browsing area, a place to have coffee, and PUF’s feature installation: the ‘printer robot’, the first to be used commercially in Europe, after months of testing in the factory in Lille.
It’s a bookshop with a difference.
Via tablet, you can search or browse the PUF catalogue of over 5,000 titles, and have access to millions of international titles in the public domain. After making a selection, at the push of a button, there is no more to do. The printing process is fast and produces a high quality result. The only limit is the machine’s maximum capacity of 850 pages per title. Able to print 110 pages per minute, the Espresso Book machine will deliver your book in next to no time, perfectly covered and bound, and appearing absolutely identical to the traditionally printed version.
There are clear advantages for booksellers using the technology. There is no need to buy and hold expensive stock that takes up expensive space. Supply on-demand makes sense.
The prices are similar to those in traditional outlets, so for customers the advantage might lie in the speed and convenience of a ‘print-to-order’ book. For others, who enjoy more tactile methods of browsing, there’s no shortage, in Paris, of the more familiar bookshops.
Bonne lecture, happy reading!
If you’re visiting Paris …
‘la librairie des puf’
60, rue Monsieur-le-Prince, 7006
Open: Monday 2.00-7.00pm; Tuesday-Saturday 10.00am-7.00pm.